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Showing posts from January, 2009

LOS thinking is killing our cities

LOS? Was ist LOS?

The traffic engineering concept of traffic Level of Service (LOS) is used to rate the acceptability of traffic flow on a road, using scores of A, B, C, D, E and F.

Try typing "LOS level of service traffic" and almost ANY country name into your favourite search engine. You will quickly see that LOS is very widely used.

OK but so what?

The problem is, LOS is a disaster when clumsily applied to cities. It is one of the key ways that traffic planners stumble into the habit of making motor vehicle flows their highest priority.

LOS is a key tool that blinds our decision-making processes to the possibility of having smarter goals such as those of the New Mobility Agenda, like accessibility, moving people and goods efficiently not vehicles, or making places great.

The San Francisco StreetsBlog has a wonderful series of articles by Matthew Roth on LOS thinking and its alternatives: Paradise LOSt (Part I): How Long Will the City Keep Us Stuck in Our Cars?
Paradise LOSt (…

Reinventing Paris streets

Four decades ago, French leaders wanted to remake Paris to suit the needs of the car.

But in recent years, Paris has been reclaiming its streets for life's rich pageant, not just motor traffic.

This Streetfilm (from the Livable Streets Network) offers a wonderful visual tour of Paris's traffic-calming efforts. You will need a flash plug-in to see it.



The whole archive of Streetfilms is well worth a good look.